Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Frenzies

Hello there,

Isn’t it odd that Christmas emerges in the stores before the turkey leftovers are consumed. This year it seemed to me that merchants have been displaying Christmas merchandise for more than a month already. If you ask me, the reasons for many of our holidays has disappeared, giving way to holiday frenzy.

What has happened to our holidays that we think we have to spend them in retail stores? Used to be, a day off meant lying around the house, playing games, baking brownies or taking a walk in the woods. Holidays meant reconnecting with one’s family, not so much anymore. Oh, I got to share a wonderful turkey dinner with friends and I know lots of people did, and I realize what a crush the cook endured to gather the ingredients because the stores were mobbed by holiday shoppers. I see one man was crushed to death by a mob of frenzied shoppers on Black Friday. What a shame!

For me, Christmas is a sad time, but I try to leaven that depression by doing things for others. Each year in late autumn, I make some wreaths for a medical adult day care center. The money the wreaths earn provide days of care for clients who might not have the resources to pay for services. The wreaths are sold by silent auction and the whole town turns out for the fun on gala night.

I have also mobilized the writers and artists I know to gather gifts for the clients at the facility. We will take the gifts over to the center and sing carols with the clients on Dec. 23. Stuff like that helps me remember what Christmas is all about.

I am not telling you all of this because I want credit for my good deeds. I gather the gifts and make the wreaths because I want to help. I could have gone to the Lutheran Mission or maybe to the Salvation Army and packed up food for the needy. I could have donated toys to the Marines for kids whose parents can’t afford to provide anything more than the necessities for their offspring. There is always something to do for those less fortunate.

I think Christ might like these gifts of time more than the ones we fight the crowds to purchase every Christmas fad. I know in my heart JC didn’t suffer so retailers could prosper. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

Well, there’s my December soapbox. I hope I don’t offend. I also hope you find a way to do something extra for those less fortunate. It will make both parties involved feel better.

Keep on the sunny side. Terry

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Open House and Help Around the House

OH! hello there!
I am having an open house today, which means I am struggling to get everything just so. HA!
Yesterday, a friend came over to help me with the den, which has been in the process of being painted over the last week or so. Bless his heart, he fixed a number of things that had been fretting me, and I thought that was better than a bouquet.
I have had some pretty smooth boyfriends in my time, but I have come to the conclusion that a man who knows his way around a lawn rake is a man to treasure. There was a time when I could do anything, and frequently did. I can't now, so it is a real treat to have a nice person to handle the honeydo list.
Well, I have to go find the paper cups and figure out what to do with the cat toys that surfaced during the painting upheaval. (The cat passed away last summer.) On that note, I will say goodbye for now. Have a blessed day. Terry
PS: If you can't make the open house, curl up with one of my novels.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday and Long Term Dreams

Good Morning Dear Hearts,

I am not going shopping today. Oh, that doesn't mean I am not going to give gifts during the holiday season, it just means that I don't plan to go out and join the madness. The thought of fighting my way through hoards of shoppers to buy things I can't afford for people I don't love is beyond my ken.

Besides, I have work to do. More than 50 years ago I set out to write the Great American Novel. I have written about 15 of them (Like the old woman who lived in the shoe, I can't name them all offhand ...) but you can check them out at My books are also available at and local bookstores if you can figure out the search engine.

Sometimes I wonder why I haven't made it to the big time. I had the requisite miserable childhood. I endured abusive relationships and worked my way through college by slinging hash at a truckstop and playing bass in a bluegrass band. I survived Appalachain as a kid and winters in the Adirondacks when no one had any work in the winter. Man! Do I have stories to tell.

Today I am still a starving artist, and I sometimes find that puzzling, although I have done my best to honor the dream. I guess that is the point. I still have a dream, and I still work every day to write one more page. There is always a next book - although I always wonder if I can do it again when I set those first words down in a new story.

The books give me reason to get up in the morning. They keep my mind sharp as I make sure I put in all the necessary words and leave out all the extra words. The stories keep me at my desk every day in order to find out what is going to happen next. I have friends who languish in the depths of depression, and I can't imagine not getting up and getting busy each day. I feel sorry for people who don't have a dream.

Maybe someday I will wake up and see that all the work means something, but at this point, I don't necessarily mean fame and fortune. Not everyone gets that hat. I have a good house and pretty much all the necessary things for a good life. Being rich wouldn't drag me out to shop on Black Friday. Heaven forbid.

After all, if I run out of money for gifts, I can always pass out books on Christmas morning! Keep on the sunny side and have a truly blessed day,


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Good Thanksgiving Eve,

Tomorrow will be a big day for most of us. We will likely share a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings and the guys will watch football while the ladies wash dishes and chat in another room, and plan their shopping for Black Friday.

Why is it called Black Friday? I am not sure, but I think it is to remind us all of the stock market crash back in the 20s. Uh. Do we want to go there given America’s financial pickle? Better not.

I understand Congress has designated the day after Thanksgiving as Native American Day. I think that is interesting, but since I have a Native American heritage, not at all that flattering. Who wants to celebrate an earth-based holiday on the most commercial day of the year? Who thought up that big idea anyway?

Think about it. There wouldn’t even be a day of thanksgiving – or a country if it had not been for the Native Americans who helped their visitors from Europe how to survive in the forests and shores of what evolved to be the United States of America.

I am thankful for my ancestors, both the ones who sailed here to find a new way of life, and to the ones who met the boats. I don’t think my native ancestors would be all that tickled with the way things turned out. Somewhere along the line, the ideal of living without persecution and being able to worship as one pleased got turned around. My native ancestors were persecuted and massacred, scalped for bounties and pushed onto ever more worthless pieces of real estate. In some places, native people were even enslaved.

Where is the gratitude in that? My native ancestors taught my white ancestors how to build shelters and plant food. My white ancestors took their land, their freedom and their right to worship as they pleased. What, I ask, makes some people more entitled than any others? Can someone explain that to me?

The Native Americans were not the only individuals who suffered as this country evolved. Other ethnic minorities were used harshly and enslaved. Some of them celebrate their evolution with as long as a month of commemoration while the Native Americans get to share one day with a commercial spend-feast. Ugh!

Today’s image is a Dawn Tarr creation that she painted for the cover of my newest novel, Chesapeake Legacy, which will be in print by Write Words, Inc. this winter. The novel deals with prejudice, and tells the story of a woman who was not allowed to live among the European residents because she had native blood. She gets pushed around a lot. Life is like that. Sound familiar?

I hope all of you remember the role Native Americans played in the birth of this nation. They were there for us, and it would be nice if we could be there for them at last.

Have a blessed day,


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Thanks for Then and Now

Good Almost Thanksgiving,

I know the economy is supposed to be in the pits, but what better time to give thanks for all we have. Gas has gone down under $2.00 per gallon, and if that isn’t a blessing, I am not sure what is. Let’s start there.

When I was a kid, we lived in a house with no plumbing, and no central heat. I don’t remember being unhappy because it was what it was. I did wish to be warm a lot. Today, I have a beautiful home, but I can’t say as I am always warm. Fuel is still expensive, but I wear lots of layers and am pretty comfortable all the time. I wonder how warm the lean-tos and cabins the Pilgrims lived in were. No wonder the ladies wore those long skirts and shawls. Talk about tough. They must have had a big lot of faith to endure those times.

When I was a youngster, we walked. We walked to school. We walked to the store. We walked to church. When we were on vacation, we walked to and in the woods, and we walked to visit all the old ladies who lived on the surrounding farms. A car trip was an occasion. Today I have arthritis and can’t walk far. Maybe I should have been more thankful when I was a kid.

When I was a kid, I wore hand-me-downs from an aunt who worked. I was a big kid in high school and that arrangement worked, although I was sometimes less than grateful because I wanted the same sorts of skirts and blouses the other girls in my class wore. Today I happily shop at the local thrift shops, and couldn’t care less what the crowd is wearing so long as I am covered and warm.

We feasted on holidays when I was a kid, living on a farm provided all sorts of foods that seem like luxuries when one has to purchase them in today’s supermarkets. I guess I should have been more grateful back then, because preparing for a holiday is serious business for people on a fixed income.

When I was a child, I wrote my stories on a tablet of lined paper with a always diminishing yellow pencil. Today I use a computer that highlights my mistakes and sends the stories off to my publisher Write Words Inc. at the speed of light. Whodathunk it!

I am grateful and happy for what I have today. I wish that little girl in hand-me-downs could see all I have today. I bet she would be amazed at the harvest I have gathered in my life. I am grateful for the rich variety life has given me, and I am thankful for all of my happy harvest.

Keep on the sunny side,


PS: I forgot to say I have published more than a dozen books. I am very grateful that particular dream came true.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Flying South - Or Not?

Good Monday Morning,
Today's photo comes from Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, a great place to spend a quiet afternoon watching Mother Nature at work. If you will notice, there are a couple of geese in the photo.
I would like to say they are flying South, but to tell the truth, the refuge is so well managed and so many crops are left standing that the darned birds just make Blackwater a stop on the Atlantic Flyway and never bother to leave.
I flew (read drove) South once, and I can't say I liked it all that well. I got real homesick and nothing worked out, no matter what I tried. The worst part was I almost lost my song. Now I am like one of those 'resident' geese that stop by for a late supper and never leave.
I will say the Delmarva Peninsula has been a good place for me. I have a great old house that needs perpetual work and a good network of friends. I even have the time and a place to write.
Cambridge is a great place. The people are wonderful; both the natives, who live close to the land, and the come-here's who arrive from a variety of places far grander than this little Eastern Shore town. But they stay, and in staying, make up a rich tapestry of souls who have a great deal to contribute to the community and to each other.
The neat thing about Cambridge and Dorchester County is that there is a party nearly every weekend of the year. Some are humble, like the firehouse breakfasts and dinners where you can have all you can eat of everything from pancakes to muskrats. Cambridge celebrates the tall ships with a Schooner Festival in late October and honors athletes with an Eagle Man qualifier triathlon in June. There is an amnesty day when you can put out your junk to be hauled away free by the city and neighborhood-wide yard sales. Cambridge celebrates the Bay culture, veterans, and senior citizens.
No wonder we never leave! That said, I hope you find a good place on this earth and stay on the sunny side. Terry

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Life's Harvest

Good Sunday Morning,
Winter is on the way, and it seems to be really early this year. I am not sure what that means -- except I will be really tired of sweaters by the time it is all over. The good part is that the year has provided a wonderful harvest.
This year's harvest has been especially good. In addition to having a lot of work done on my working class Victorian home, I wrote a three-book series. Each of the books is set on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, sometimes known as the Delmarva Peninsula. It is a different sort of place, surrounded by water, and host to some of the kindest people I have ever met on my long journey to find a home. How I came to write a series about colonial Maryland is a mystery - like most of my books.
I just woke up one morning and started writing; when the first book was done Arline Chase, publisher of suggested I might do well to think about doing a series. Well, I said I couldn't. Then I thought, maybe. And then I did. In fact, I have started a fourth book in the series carrying the story of one family through the Civil War. Somehow the strong women who are the heroines in my books have managed to tell their stories through me, and I find the work both compelling and satisfying. In fact, I can't wait to find out what is going to happen next.
Yesterday I discussed the writing lessons Stephen King offers in his book On Writing. Mr. King echoes the great writers through time who knew without doubt that the book is in charge. I get it. Maybe that is why I am able to turn out all these wonderful tales of courage and determination. I am so glad they gave me windows into their world and that I was able to bring away their life stories for you to share.
When you think about it, it is a glorious harvest indeed.
Keep on the sunny side.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On Writing a Novel

Good Saturday Morning,

I have been reading Stephen King's book On Writing. He gets into a lot of personal stuff, and I think it is revealing how candid such a well-known writer can be about his life and work.
One might suppose that a writer of Stephen King's stature might have had a pleasant life. Nothing could be further from the truth, in fact, I have an idea that Mr. King suffered more than a little during on his long and profitable journey. At least, his description of his childhood, the early years of his marriage, and his addictions help me to understand just where the scariness in his book come from.
I wish I could write half as well as Stephen King. I really do. I am trying. King's book On Writing offers a list of skills a writer needs to succeed in his or her craft. He makes it sound easy: Get a vocabulary, learn the rules and simplify.
Of course, simple is a lot more difficult than wordy. The temptation is there. I always want to write too much. Dense writing may be ok for textbooks, but people who buy novels want to sit back and be entertined. So, we have to tell good stories, and we have to tell them well.
When I get an idea, I sit down at the computer and start writing. I keep writing until the tale is told. I listen to the voice in my head. It is almost like taking dictation. Sometimes when I finish a book I am amazed by the story and wonder where it came from. Sometimes I never find out, but it doesn't matter. Something in the universe wants me to be a conduit for the story.
There are more good writers in the world than ever before, and I am glad to be one of them.
That said, I need to get to work. My new novel calls.
Keep on the sunny side,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fresh Paint

Good Friday Morning!

Whew, it has been a week. I am glad the weekend is due so I can catch up with some of the things that are going on in my life. One of the biggies is fresh paint. Some of it is on the walls, some ain't!

If you look to the right, you will see an example of the art I am submitting to a gallery show at our local center for the arts. I know I mentioned the Wednesday Morning Artists, the authors of this show that opens on December 13. Well, after a year of spending time with these fantastic individuals, I find that I have been moved to do a little painting myself, but I didn't have much confidence, especially since I saw the beautiful things the other members were producing. I thought I would try.
You can't imagine the energy I experienced when one of the artists suggested I incorporate words in the art! Wow! What a nifty idea for a writer. I call the painting I pasted today Eagle's Legacy, but I am sure I could choose any number of other names and it would still be a pleasant watercolor with collage features spotlighted with ink. (It is my fate to always fall through the cracks in my chosen genre and I guess there is nothing new in that habit.)
So, my work is ready for the gallery show and I am trembling in my shoes. Will my work be accepted? (Physically - yes.) Will it sell? (Remains to be seen.) Am I an artist? (You bet!)
The rest of the story lies in the painting of my bedroom and the den that serves as workroom for my literary and crafting efforts. At any one point in time I am writing a book, crafting a poem, composing a song, sewing a doll or choosing beads for a stylish necklace - or maybe all of these at the same time. (Maybe I have ADD?) Having the room painted seemed like a nifty idea. Getting rid of a load of clutter is also a good idea. The only deal is that I invited a lot of people for an open house just days before the painting started.
I am coping with that. Don't you just love the smell of fresh paint?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Buffalo?

Good Morning Blogger!

This morning I am reminded of a wonderful road trip I made with my friend Melanie, who wanted to see some American bison, better known as buffalo, in the wild. We talked about it at a powwow here on the Eastern Shore and within a couple of weeks we were on the road for a 1600 mile trip that tested the limits of friendship and faith.

We brought along Melanie's two poodles: Cinder and Pebbles, who were the long and short of it to say the least. Cinder is a standard poodle, Pebbles a mini. They were good travelers, although Pebbles sometimes got nervous when Mom had to go to the facilities. I was pleasantly surprised we all got along so well. (Pebbles settled right down if I sang to her.)

Our destination was Rapid City in South Dakota, my brother lives there, and he was willing to put us up for a week while we explored the area. Guy was obviously not used to company, but he graciously allowed us the run of his house. The neighbors kept wolves, and the B1 bombers from the nearby air base boomed us out of bed each morning before even the dogs woke up, but it was a great base of operations while we explored Deadwood, Rushmore, Custer National Park and the various Indian reservations in the area.

The quest for buffalo did not go well. All of the buff at Custer had been put away for the winter, I spotted a few of what looked like cross-bred beefalo cattle outside Rapid, but the only other buffalo we found were in burgers and pasties - a hot-pocket sort of thing stuffed with a savory meat filling. They were both mouth-watering delicious, but not at all satisfying for a gal who wanted to see some of the beasts up close and personal.

As you can see from the photo I posted, we did finally find some buffalo when we turned around to come home and I spotted a big herd of buffalo somewhere near Sioux Falls just as we were leaving S.Dakota. By that time, we were both wondering if this was the land where the buffalo roam ... when the real question was where.

I enjoyed that trip, and I learned a lot. The badlands were bleak and troubling, the reservations heart-rending, the historical areas, over commercialized -- but the buffalo is still out there and the herds are being managed by educated farmers dedicated to preserving this magnificient species. We learned that when buffalo are harvested for the food industry, every part is used just as they were when they thrived from sea to shining sea. It did my heart good to know that the buffalo still roam and that if we search hard enough, they will be there for generations to come.
Keep on the sunny side,
PS: Melanie and I are still friends, and the dogs still like to hear me sing. "Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam . . . "

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't Let Your Stuff Get You Down

Hello Bloggers,

I just got back from a couple of days spent with a friend in Delaware. Had a great time, and got home to the same disorder I left. Hmmmm.... well, yes, the den was being painted, and it is still being painted, but is a little further along than it was when I left.

I will tell you something. I decided a while back not to let things get me down, so I laugh about the disorder and realize it is an opportunity to sort out things that are no longer useful in my life. Yes, I am a packrat. I keep everything, whether I need it or not, and whether it means anything to me today.

Don't get me wrong, I love and appreciate things people give me, but I have come to the realization that the things people give me are not the love they express. If I lost the whole house, God forbid!, I would still remember and love the people who enhanced my life.

Maxine has the right idea. Don't let stuff get you down.

On that note, I am going to stop hanging out here on the Internet and try to get up and get some of this stuff sorted out and decide what I really need to keep.

Thanks for stopping by. Terry

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What About Frogs?

Good Sunday Morning Bloggers,

Well I got two frogs this morning when I attempted to post my art, so maybe there is a reason. I'm not going to fight with it!
So, what about frogs? I'll tell you.
A couple of years ago I did a CD recording of a dozen new gospel songs I had composed. I got the folks at church involved and did the CD as a concert recording with some of my friends singing harmony and the congregation in attendance. It was a pretty big project, and I realized I didn't have any art for the album cover. My friend Amy suggested frogs.
I, of course, said, "What about frogs?"
The acronym for frog is Fully Rely on God. Well, that was a no-brainer. I have always tried to fully rely on God. Trust isn't always easy, so there were times I decided to rely on God pretty late in the game, but I really need to remember God is with me all the time and things will go in good ways.
Not that I expect things to go my way all the time. I have an idea God sends some of the hard stuff to see if we are paying attention. The hard stuff makes us learn.
Thank God for frogs to see us through!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beautiful at 97!

Good Saturday Morning!

I am in the throes of having a couple of rooms painted and everything is in a jumble. The going is slow because I keep finding treasures among the many useful articles I have squirreled away in my home. In addition to thread, beads, yarn and piles of manuscript, I found a number of photographs. Some were of me performing at various venues, a few were photos I took when I was a reporter for a small town daily.

I liked writing the news, it was both inspiring and educational to sit in city and county work meetings and to learn how government really works; but my real love was doing the 'good news' - features about the exceptional people who lived quietly and did remarkable things.

One of these remarkable people was Miss Nora Foxwell of Elliotts Island here in Maryland. In order to reach the island one must travel to the little town of Vienna (which missed being the state capital by a cat's whisker) and turn right for a 20-mile treck through the forests and marshlands of Dorchester County. Twenty miles is a right good way to travel to buy a quart of milk or loaf of bread, but Miss Nora kept those things and more at her little island store and the island's residents had the supplies they needed.

The photo today was taken when Miss Nora was 97 years old! The remarkable thing is that she was still keeping store when I made this portrait. We had a good long visit as I sat with my tape recorder running and my camera at the ready. Miss Nora talked about her youth, going to school on the island, her marriage, the changes she had seen, and the little store, which was the cornerstone of her life. When she began to declaim a poem learned years before for my enjoyment, her face lit up and I could see the same sort of bliss as often occurs on the face of a child with an all day sucker.

I was really lucky to capture this image because Miss Nora didn't live out the next winter. I was really glad I met her. She taught me something about enjoying life and being useful. I want to be just like her when I grow up!

Keep on the sunny side! Terry

Friday, November 14, 2008

Calling All Angels

November 14, 2008

Good Friday Morning,
Angels have been on my mind lately, so I have posted a photo of the angel my friend Dawn Tarr painted for me last Christmas. I hung the canvas over my desk in my work room so that she can overlook my efforts as a writer, musician and craftsperson. I was a bit taken aback when I saw my sexy guardian, but she has become an inspiration and I have seen signs that she is a big influence on my life. I have lost a little weight! Thank God for angels in lingerie.
Dawn is a very talented painter, selling in the worldwide market on ebay and in Maryland galleries. She did the cover for my youth book Glinda's Crystal Garden and the covers for my Maryland Heritage series, novels set in colonial days. So, Dawn is one of the angels in my life.
My publisher Arline Chase of and Cambridge Books has been my angel for years. She took me in when I was homeless and helped me find my first employment here on the Eastern Shore. She always has helpful advice and guidance when I run out of literary steam.
Dorothy Morford was an angel earlier in my life. Dorothy inherited her family's antique business and a carpenter gothic hall stuffed with vintage clothing. She employed me all through the years, including those difficult and exciting times while I earned degrees from Fulton-Montgomery Community College and Skidmore College. You can't imagine how much I learned while working for her!
Lately I have been car-less and Jeanne Pinault has been my angel to get me to meetings and places where the trolley doesn't run. She introduced me to the Wednesday Morning Artist where I have learned lots about art and the benefits of having a network of like-minded and creative individuals.
There have been dozens of angels in my life. The latest is Nikki Leigh, creator of Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours. I contacted Nikki to ask if I could help with those tours as a stop for authors, and she asked me to post a daily blog, thus giving my work a lot more promotion than I ever dreamed of.
Today, whenever I start to feel down, I think of the angels who have blessed my life. Now, Dawn Tarr's angel overlooks my work and I know I can't fail.
Have a blessed day,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tell Them Your Dream

Good Thursday Morning,
A few years ago a friend gave me the concept of Shameless Self Promotion. I didn't do much with promotion for years, but since I retired I feel challenged to do something with the dozen or more books I have written and published over the years. I made it a point to tell people about my dream.
I am a technophobe. I was scared of computers from the very beginning, but having typed my first novel eleven times, I was drawn to working on a computer simply because it was so easy to correct errors in my copy. It took a while, but eventually I learned word processing. Life, being what it is, immediately catapulted me into a spell as a newspaper reporter for a small town daily. Deadline was 9 a.m., so I had to rise early and be in the office at 6 a.m. to report all the big doin's the night before. I vaguely remember when the day's stories were sent by modem to the mother company - but wasn't doing the posting. I had no idea the Internet could rock my world!
Eventually, one friend got me online to use ebay and another set me up on a social network where I met people from all points on the globe. Naturally, I mentioned I am a writer and told them my dream, I even sent books to Australia, India, Japan and a number of other places I never dreamed I would visit. As a result of the encouragement this garnered, I grew shameless about publicizing my work.
Today I will ask anyone, anywhere to notice my work. Often, it works and people and busineses give me space for a blurb, a story, or an interview. Yesterday Delmarva Youth offered me space to post a synopsis and a cover photo for Chesapeake Harvest for their magazine. Yowzee! The computer makes it easy. Success makes it fun.
I told publicist Nikki Leigh about my work and the associated dream and she gave me the opportunity to post a daily blog at Remind me to tell you some time about some of the other nifty things that happened in my world when I got brave enough to tell someone about my dream.
There are angels out there and miracles can happen when you tell them your dream!
Keep on the sunny side, Terry

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Morning Artists

Good Wednesday Morning,

About a year ago my friend Jeanne invited me to join the Wednesday Morning Artists. As a writer, getting up to work on my newest book has become a habit since I retired a couple of years ago. I will tell you that I did protest the time it would take to go out and be social first thing in the morning, especially when I was not a painter - although I did a lot of artistic things including writing, composing, making jewelry and sculpting some pretty sexy mermaid dolls (among other things!). I was wrong.
The Wednesday Morning Artists rock. Yes, we do meet at 8 a.m., which is pretty early for me to get out and be social, but I find I am truly enjoying the experience.
What do the Wednesday Morning Artists do? A lot! Each December the members of the group hang a 'small works' show at the Dorchester Center for the Arts here in Cambridge. What fun it was to participate in hanging the show and attending the following reception.
In January, Cambridge had a devastating fire which destroyed nearly a city block of stores. The stores were in the historic district and the owner agreed to restore the facades for the re-build. The window areas were boarded up and huge props installed to shore up the stone and brick fronts of the damaged storefronts. Then the Wednesday Morning Artists came front under the leadership of mosaic artist Jen Wagner.
Jen proposed that we create a mosaic to camoflage the ugly chipboard masking at the front of the building. Her plan was to do the mosaic so that each chipboard panel was a stand-alone piece of art. She asked the Wednesday Morning Artists to come out and help. She also invited everyone in town and every passerby to glue a piece of crockery, glass, or mirror to the mosaic. She canvassed every business that sold tile, glass and mirrors for materials and begged for cash to buy the mastic and grout. What fun it was to go downtown on Saturdays to help stick glass on the evolving mural. (I brought beads!) Mothers brought their children and friends brought friends. (Check out the photo above.)
In the end, a great deal of effort went into the mosaic mural, and it generated an enormous amount of interest in the group - and about art in general. I went a step further and organized a variety show with live auction to raise funds for the group, adding another dimension of art to the mix.
Today Jen and a committee of fine artists are going through the permitting process to create a second mural in Cambridge. Several members of the group have studios downtown, and businesses are hanging art created by members of the group. We even collect gifts for the clients at Pleasant Day Medical Adult Day Care Center and created a wreath full of mini paintings to support Pleasant Day's Festival of Wreaths to support days of care for clients who have few resources.
Which brings us full circle, getting ready for December's Small Works show at the center for the arts. I love being part of such a creative and supportive group. With more and more of the Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, having things to do is a blessing. I know it helps keep me healthy.
So, what's going on in your town? Terry

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanking Our Vets

Good Morning,
I took today's photo on the Pride of Baltimore, an 18th century schooner that is part of the tall ship preservation movement that reminds us of America's early days. If you note, the flag has only 13 stars representing the original 13 colonies. Those colonies fought a war to gain freedom from England - so patriotism and defending liberty is a big part of our heritage. I can trace the European portion of my ancestry clean back to 1632 when a man named Samuel Lincoln came to the New World as an indentured servant. I imagine Samuel would shake his head in disbelief if he could see where his great adventure has gone.
When I think about veterans, I don't have to look far afield. My father and grandfather both served in WW2; Dad in the North Atlantic flying over the frigid seas to photograph enemy submarines, and Gramp helped build the Burma Road. My brother was a sailor in the Vietnam era and he was wounded in Etheopia before entering the submarine service. Two sisters served in the military, one saw combat in Desert Storm. I think of their stories with pride. They fought and served for all of us and I believe we owe a debt of gratitude for all of the men and women who step out to defend the ideal of freedom.
In a sense, we are all veterans, for whenever there are soldiers, there are families at home that pray for their safe return. Today is a day for us to all pause and reflect on the service the American warriors have rendered to the cause of freedom. I know I am grateful for the effort that keeps free speech alive so that I can write what I wish and share my ideas with the world. You can't do that in every place in the world.
And so I say thank you vets, and God Bless America!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Snow Days

Good Morning Bloggers,

We are having some real pretty weather here on the Eastern Shore, but I called my brother Thursday and he said he is still digging out from the big storm that hit the Dakotas last week. Guy said he was snowed in for two days, but that he had made it out to the store before the storm hit. Good for him. Snow days are such fun when you have enough groceries and the television works.

The other day I was watching a show on television, and one of the characters called his girl 'a snow day.' I thought that was really sweet because when I was young a snow day meant freedom, lounging around in my pajamas all day and baking sweet treats in the kitchen. Snow days meant hours fooling around with my tablet writing poetry or trying to do a watercolor and finding out how many colors there are in a field of white snow. That freedom to experiment led to all sorts of other freedoms as I grew older. I always did appreciate a snow day.

We had a lot of snow one winter shortly after I moved to the Eastern Shore, although such storms are rare. That year we had several big storms and I found that the streets were neither plowed nor salted as they were in the northern mountains I had lived in all my life. The world was simply closed. I wondered how I could ever dig out my car until a local preacher came by and dug it out for me. My neighbors in the apartment building all trudged out to find bread, milk and sundries at stores miles away. There was laughter on the streets and soup on the stove.

It was days before the world started to move again and I came to realize that sometimes it is wise to appreciate a good thing - even if it means a delay in ones's plans. Personally, I think it is too bad we can't order a snow day when we really want one.

I guess that makes the point. Enjoy the moment all. Terry

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Dinner and Belief

Greetings Bloggers,
I like Sunday, it was always a special day when I was a child and I have fond memories of both Sunday School and the happy Sunday dinners and picnics that followed. My father was big on parties and he could make an occasion out of barbequeing a can of government surplus meat or making candy out of hot syrup poured on a pan of snow.
Times were hard when I was growing up, but I know Dad believed in me because shortly before he died, he got me James Mitchner's book on writing. Back then I only had a couple of self-published chapbooks, but he showed them off to his cronies and bragged on his daughter the writer. He helped me believe and I know that wherever he is now in the great beyond there is a party and he is bragging about his daughter the writer.
My point is that we have to believe what we want will happen. Every one of the authors I write about on the new blog I write for Nikki Leigh had a dream and hung on until those dreams came true. (
I once heard a speaker say, "I would hate to think I would give up five minutes before my dream came true." and that really made an impact on me. Being a writer is a very lonely business. You do all the work alone, and it is not until the book is in print that you go out and meet bookstore owners and readers. Then the work has to speak for itself.
So, if you are a writer with a dream, hang. Your miracle could be only five minutes away!
Keep on the sunny side, Terry

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Appreciating the Dream

Greetings from the Eastern Shore!

Today I will take time out to visit the Never on Tuesday bookstore here in Cambridge to launch my new novel, Chesapeake Harvest.

Chesapeake Harvest is about my 15th book, I am a bit like the old woman who lived in a shoe... by now I can hardly remember all their names after 40 years of writing. At any rate, Chesapeake Harvest is the first of a series set on the Eastern Shore of Maryland from the earliest colony times. The women in the series are survivors, women who wait for love, and take up the reins of life to make their survival a reality.

Mary Charles is the heroine of Chesapeake Harvest. She starts off gentry and slides down the social ladder to end up in a London jail. The next thing she knows, the universe steps in and she is on a ship bound for the New World. Undaunted, she faces up to her indenture and learns how to survive on the mosquito and disease ridden coast despite all obstacles in her way.

Mary's descendents follow the family in the following stories, Chesapeake Legacy and Chesapeake Destiny. If you like a series, I hope you will check my stories out at and

Many thanks go out to artist Dawn M. Tarr for the series covers! I love the pulp fiction look and the pensive characters who seem to know all the secrets of life and love. Find more of Dawn's work at

Oh yes, I am working with Nikki Leigh to promote her authors on tour blog at Check it out!

Keep on the sunny side, Terry

Friday, November 7, 2008


Hello There,

Boy! Am I glad it is Friday. It isn't that I don't like the other days of the week, but a lifetime of observation has showed me that Friday is that is a day of hope restored. No matter how tired we are at the end of the week, we have a 48 hour day reprieve from the madding crowd and the workplace blues. Then too, Cambridge and Dorchester County are real party places. It is a rare weekend that doesn't have some sort of community event to share with friends and neigbors. That said, I have lit a candle in honor of the weekend. Long may it last.
Tomorrow I am going to go celebrate Second Saturday by going to the Never on Tuesday bookstore here in Cambridge to sign my newest book, Chesapeake Harvest, the first in a series of historical novels set in colonial Maryland. I grew up in a house with no electricty or plumbing and I know how difficult it was to stay clean and to put up enough food to last through the winter -- even with my father's pay to help buy shoes and food from the grocery store. It was not, I imagine, one tenth as hard as it was for the indentured servants and wives who came to an unsettled colony and had to carve out a life in the wilderness. The series is my salute to the founding fathers -- and mothers who made the Eastern Shore a paradise for retirees.
Today I added my first post to Nikki Leigh's Virtual Blog Authors Tour! I will do my best to give her readers a chance to see in a few moments where the day's tours can be found. When we discussed the project I told Nikki I could be a bit quirky, and she said the quirkier the better, so it looks like a good match to me. Check out the new blog at: for lots of information on authors around the country and across the world.
Well, off to work. Did I happen to mention that a writer's work is never done?
Have a great weekend, Terry

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Student Again

Good Thurday Morning!

It is raining again, a good thing. The last couple of summers have been awfully dry, so I believe it is a good thing - although I find the gray days long - especially now we have entered daylight savings time. I always thought people should have the option to hibernate, but our society says to keep working, working, working. Well, why not? Lots of good things are happening!

If you are following my blog, you will see a new gadget this morning. My friend Nikki Leigh, award winning author, publicist, and blog host, helped me to add the interview I did with her about my latest print novel Chesapeake Harvest. The novel is a historical and embraces the life of Mary Charles, an indentured servant on the Eastern Shore of Maryland during the earliest days of the colony. I loved writing the book and love the cover done by Snow Hill artist Dawn M. Tarr.

Yesterday my Nikki asked me to be a roving reporter to help publicize her blog tours. Blog tours help authors meet readers and get publicity for their books. I not only get to learn as I go, I also have the benefit of publicity for my own books. I will be doing a weekly (and maybe more) column on her authors blog. Check it out at That said, it looks like I need to go learn my new job so there is actually a post onthat address! Please bookmark the site if you would like to learn more about my work, Nikki Leigh and her books, and virtual blog tours.
Have a good one! Terry

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good Morning,

America made history last night with the election of Barak Obama to the office of the President of the United States of America. Congratulations to all the candidates, who show us that the American dream is still functioning in the land of the free.

Today's photo is a view of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge, near my home in Cambridge, is the home of at least 60 pairs of nesting eagles. I have visited the refuge many times, and I will tell you there is nothing quite like walking the nature path and spotting an eagle as it soars overhead. This is a great comeback for the raptors, symbol of the freedom that make our land great. For those of you interested in eagles, here is the url for a web cam that you can use to watch these huge birds as they raise their chicks starting next winter. I am told they hatch their eggs sometime in February! Not only are they beautiful to watch, but hardy as well. Check out the eagle cam at:

Today promises to be a busy day, and I hope all my friends have a good one. See you tomorrow! Terry

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Good Grief Charlie Brown,

Would you believe Election Day is finally here? I have no idea who I should support in this election, so I have included the cover of my last CD Frog Song as the art for today's post. Did you know FROG is the acronym for Fully Rely On God, which is what we all need to do when it comes voting for a new president. It occurs to me that both candidates have run hard and made a lot of promises. Whether those promises come true is up to the country, their advisors, and the Creator. The rest of us mortals just have to hope we make the right choices because the country is in a big mess. God bless America indeed!
I think one of the things we all need to consider as we go into what the talking heads on all the news show are calling a recession, is that we don't really need what we consider to be necessities. It wouldn't take a lot of sacrifice if each and every person gave up just one of those things they think they can't live without. One family on my street has five vehicles. When did that sort of thing happen and why is it necessary? We had one car when I was a child and everyone got where they were going. What happened indeed.
One of my friends asked if she could shop with me the other day. She wanted to learn how I live so economically. Well, I think wealth is relative. As I look back on my childhood I realize I have a lot more today than I did back then. My house still belongs to me and the bank, but I have a house. I don't have a car, but my legs are working pretty good these days. I have diabetes, but that cautions me not to buy the expensive treat items I loved in the past. It is true my figure has changed since I hit retirement and menopause, but that gives me the opportunity to clear my closet of some nice things that no longer fit and give them to the local adult day care center.
I don't know about you, but I have noticed it is literally impossible to give away everything I have. Believe me, I have tried. I clear out one area after another in my house, and two minutes later it is all full again. I believe that has something to do with the promise God gives all of us that we may have life in abundance. Sometimes I find my life just a little bit too abundant, but I am not complaining! My cup overflows, and I like it just fine -- it gives me the wherewithal to share more with others.
I hope everyone who reads this blog takes the time to get out and vote -- for better or worse. Like I said, I am walking these days, but a friend called yesterday to make arrangements to take me to my polling place. I call that a friend! One vote could make a difference, you never know!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ancient Memories

Good Monday Morning!

I was surfing around yesterday and I found one of my books on a British site. Ancient Memories was listed with five stars and I was excited to think that my work is wandering around the globe with not a great deal of effort from me -- although I know my publisher at is responsible for any success I may ever find in the writing business.

Ancient Memories was the first one of my novels to be in print and I love the story -- which is really several stories about twin souls who find each other through life after life. I always felt reincarnation is the real meaning of everlasting life and I truly believe this is the soul's path for each of us -- especially as many of these friendly souls have shown up in my life during good and difficult times.

At any rate, I felt compelled to write this tale and I hope that my readers find comfort in the thought that we get to come back and work through the disappointments and mistakes from other lifetimes.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Good Sunday Morning. Don't forget to fall back to enjoy Daylight Savings Time. It always irks me, but maybe you like it, so please enjoy if you can.
I woke up thinking about my writing, my life's work actually. I have made my life around the stories, but I simply make room for the lives that come through me. I love my characters, and somehow I know each of them intimately. I wonder if other writers have this feeling, or if I am somehow connected to the infinite.
When I consider the latter, it seems to me that writing is a very spiritual occupation since it requires a very close observation of life and philosophy. Taking that thought further, I ask: "Is this my life and philosophy that finds its way into the story?" It seems to me that there are far finer souls in these stories than I.
I cannot say the right or wrong of this, only that I am compelled to do the work and send it out into the world.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Welcome to Terry L. White's Blog

Good Morning!

I woke up this morning thinking about the new book I am writing in the Chesapeake series. Book one is about Mary Charles, a convicted felon who finds herself transported to the Maryland Colony as an indentured servant. I loved writing the book and then one thing led to another and so far I have written three books spanning over 100 years in the colony that eventually became a state.

The series embraces the women in one family, the servant, the Nanticoke wife and the abused spouse. Each of these womens hold to faith and continue with their lives until their dreams become reality.

Right now I am working on a fourth book, which takes place during and after the American Civil War. The heroine is blind and it is a real challenge for me to portray this wonderful woman from the first person perspective, which only allows me to report what Jewel knows.

Just wondering if I am on the right track -- comments welcome!